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Weiland Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus

Stephen R. Barley

Weiland Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus
Stephen R. Barley is the Christian A. Felipe Professor of Technology Management at the College of Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. He holds an AB. in English from the College of William and Mary, an M.Ed. from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Organization Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to coming to UCSB, Barley served for ten years on the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He then moved to Stanford where he was the Richard Weiland Professor of Management Science and Engineering, the Associate Chair of the Department of Management Science and Engineering (2011-2015), and was the Co-founder and co-director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization at Stanford's School of Engineering from 1994-2015. He was editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly from 1993 to 1997 and the founding editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review from 2002 to 2004.

Barley serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Discovery, the Academy of Management Annals, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Research in the Sociology of Work, Information and Organization, Engineering Studies and the Journal of Organizational Ethnography. He has been the recipient the Academy of Management's New Concept Award and was named Distinguished Scholar by the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory Division in 2006, the Organization Communication and Information Systems Division in 2010 and the Critical Management Studies Division in 2010. Barley has been a fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a Fellow of the Academy of Management. In 2006 the Academy of Management Journal named Barley as the author of the largest number of “interesting” articles in the field of management studies.

Barley was a member of the Board of Senior Scholars of the National Center for the Educational Quality of the Workforce and co-chaired National Research Council and the National Academy of Science's committee on the changing occupational structure in the United States. The committee's report, The Changing Nature of Work, was published in 1999. He recently served on the National Research Council’s (NRC) committee on the Information Technology Research and Development Ecosystem and on the NRC’s Committee on Automation and the Workforce.

Barley has written over ninety articles on the impact of new technologies on work, the organization of technical work, and organizational culture. He and Julian Orr edited a volume on technical work entitled Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in the United States published in 1997 by the Cornell University Press. In collaboration with Gideon Kunda of Tel Aviv University, Barley authored Gurus, Hired Guns and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in the Knowledge Economy, an ethnography of contingent work among engineers and software developers published by the Princeton University Press in 2004.

Barley teaches courses on the organizational implications of technological change, organizational theory, social network analysis and ethnographic field methods. He has served as a consultant to organizations in a variety of industries including publishing, banking, computers, electronics and aerospace.

Barley is currently researching corporate power in the United States, the rhetorical history of telecommuting, and how sophisticated mathematical modeling tools are altering the work of engineers who design automobiles.


PhD, Sloan School of Management, Organization Studies (1984)
MS, The Ohio State University, Student Personnel Administration (1977)
AB, The College of William and Mary, English (1975)


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